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Mark Shea's Blog: So That No Thought of Mine, No Matter How Stupid, Should Ever Go Unpublished Again!
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Oh boy, is that combox going to be a bloodbath…
I find this to be only true of the tribe you call the New Atheists, and I call the anti-theists. Funny, though, this post seems to have attracted a lot of them.
I have a theory though. I believe that this tribe of anti-theists is actually a Protestant Denomination, born from the theological mistakes of previous Protestant Denominations. Look back in the family history of any anti-theist far enough, and you will find a fundamentalist preacher as a parental figure using the Bible to abuse his children both mentally and physically. That abuse leads *directly* to a philosophy I call Biblical Atheism- and when severe enough to be passed down through the generations in either a positive overreaction or a negative reaction, eventually produces a mental state that is afraid of the word God and even more afraid of the authority wielded by legitimate political and religious government.
A fascinating theory.
There are plenty of ex-Catholic atheists!
And I’m not from a fundamentalist background but a mainline protestant one.
I don’t know how legitimate the author or the argument is, but back when I was a kid my dad read a book called The Atheist Syndrome that purported to show that many of the most influential atheists of the 19th and early 20th centuries had horrible relationships with their fathers.
It’s also phobic even about typing “God”, upper case. A veritable neurosis. Like people afraid to touch doorknobs. “Where does anyone get the idea that stoning homosexuals, witches and polytheists is wrong”, I ask. I’d like a direct response. “‘Cause I just feel that way”? It’s moral turtles all the way down.
You nailed them on running with a script. A recent Twitter conversation I had with an apparent atheist went along that same pattern. As soon as a theist offers up reasons (well reasoned or otherwise) they change the subject or simply mindlessly charge you for supporting the slaughter of ‘innocents’, i.e. Canaanites, et al. rather than deal with the challenge directly. They care not for honest debate. They just need to express the very thing that they accuse believers of, irrational hate. Hypocrites.
True. But how often are any of us are always up for honest debate? Quite a few of the discussions I have with people, discussions that involve intense expression of opinions are not so much a debate in order to find the truth but rather an opportunity to build my confidence in my own belief by either A. receiving confirmation of my belief from people I like and respect, or B. confirming that those who oppose me are pretty frickin’ irrational. I’m not saying this is behavior is good or bad but rather that there are many reasons for expressing opinions in public and “honest debate” is only one of them.
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